By Doreen Wainainah
Kenya has topped key sub Saharan Africa rivals Nigeria and Tanzania in the count of global chain hotel brands presence in the respective countries.
The Knight Frank 2018 hotels report shows Kenya has 68 global hotel brands, ranking higher than Tanzania and Nigeria.
South Africa tops sub-Saharan countries with 430 branded chain hotels.
Nairobi, Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar and Seychelles are cited as the hotel development hotspots in Eastern Africa, accounting for 27 per cent of the pipeline projects on the continent.
“Nairobi’s position as a major regional hub will be further reinforced by the growth of this sector in the city,” said Ben Woodhams, Managing Director of Knight Frank Kenya.
Nigeria has only 58 global chain hotels while Tanzania has 46 of the branded properties.
30pc of Africa’s chain hotels
South Africa accounts for nearly 30 per cent of Africa’s (North Africa included) chain hotels.
Southern Africa accounted for only five per cent of the development projects in the region, while central Africa accounted for four per cent.
“Growth will be increasingly concentrated in the large cities of Sub-Saharan Africa, with the populations of cities such as Luanda, Lagos, Dar es Salaam, Nairobi and Addis Ababa forecast to grow by more than 80 per cent during the 2015-2030 period,” stated the Knight Frank report.
The Kenyan hotel scene is primed for expansion as global brands and local investors look to capture the growing number of business travellers.
Sheraton, Ramada, Hilton, Best Western, Radisson, Marriott, and Mövenpick have expanded their presence in Kenya in the past two years, adding to the growing number of international brands.
Major brands that have announced Kenya expansion plans include Marriott International which will open at AVIC International’s building in Westlands, Nairobi, and Hilton Hotel, which will open at The Pinnacle in Upper Hill.
“Hilton, for example, launched its Sh5 billion ($50 million) Africa Growth Initiative in late 2017, with the aim of adding 100 African properties to its portfolio over the next five years,” said the Knight Frank report.
The PwC hotel outlook report released last year projected the number of available rooms in Kenya will increase from 18,600 in 2016 to 21,000 in 2021, a 2.5 per cent compounded annual increase.